Vintage DeArmond Question


My 52 Electro 2 has the original vintage DeArmonds. They have the heavy black coax that Curt warned has a tendency to short due to the inner wire's insulation crumbling. My bridge pickup was cutting in and out and occasionally getting quieter. I took it out and notice the shield/ground was down to a few wires at the bridge pickup pot. I removed the coax from the pot to fix that and while doing it examined the inner 'hot' wire. The black insulation looked good a first glance ( It's kind of wrapped looking) but upon closer examination had a few small bare spots. I shrink wrapped the inner wire and hooked it up again.

Now it seems to work fine but i was noticing a strange thing. I have one amp that makes a ground loop with my space echo so I use a ground lift on the amp (it grounds through the echo).

When I use the guitar with that setup if I touch the bridge pickup it buzzes loudly. The neck pickup does not do this. The pickups are in phase and otherwise wired normally. I didn't notice it doing this before, and or not doing this so I can't say it's a result of anything I did)

Any ideas?


This happened on one of my guitars once after a pickup change. I moved the hot wire from the pickup to the volume pot to a different lug on the pot and that fixed the problem. It might or might not work for your situation, but it's worth a try.


Maybe upload a schematic of the wiring you used for the Electro and somebody might be able to spot something. Not that I could help; the more I learn about electricity, the more it scares me.


Put new cables on the pickups, and make sure the case is grounded to the shield. The ground is just that little tab that's stuck between the case and the bobbin. Sometimes I have to file off the plating and put a dab of solder there. Don't try to repair old wire, just replace it.


Thanks. That's a good idea and I'll get on that now, I was intending to replace it all but I was being lazy and hoping to get away with it. No such luck! Happily I have no attachment to old degraded wiring.


I like the see through back on these 52 DeArmonds. Kind of a science exhibit look into the pickup despite the manky appearance. The tab you're referring to Billy is the one right below what would be the A string pole I believe( hard to see in this picture but the second pole from the right). Basically normally just has mechanical contact with the casing.


Replaced the coax on this pickup. I put it in a padded vise to do it as the wire going to the coil is TINY and I didn't want it getting inadvertently yanked on. It went well. I also cleaned the casing in a tiny patch right beside the ground tab, cleaned that as well and connected them with a tiny bit of solder and then check the continuity. (Thanks Billy Zoom) Reinstalled the pickup and it works great, seems a little clearer and crisper and no longer noisy.

I was a little nervous about doing this as I did the same for the Dearmond that was in my Convertible. It had already been messed with a bit and had the original ancient coax disconnected and reconnected before I got it, so the 'hot' wire was fragile and broke off short when I went to replace the old deteriorated coax. That DeArmond was already loose in it's casing so I was able to expose more of the 'hot' wire, solder on a an extension and then shrink wrap it which saved the pickup and it's as good as it was. It was a tense moment and that made me nervous about this one. Especially as the old ones are not exactly cheap anymore and getting a lot harder to come by. At least for me and up here.

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